Maintaining a cutting board is a quick and easy task that will keep your board sanitary, looking new, and extend the life of your board.
Proper Cleaning and Washing
Wash your cutting board with soap and warm water and scrub well. Scrubbing is more important than soap in flushing bacteria and other food particles off the board. After washing the cutting board, dry immediately with a towel and let it air dry standing up or on a raised rack with air flow. If your board has stains or smells, you can use lemon juice or white vinegar directly on the area.
-Put the board in the dishwasher. The heat and water will warp and splinter the wood.
-Dunk or leave the board standing in water. The wood will absorb water and potentially warp.
-Use bleach. This will stain the wood and/or excessively dry the wood.
-Put a wet board flat to dry. If the board dries on one side, it will cause the wood to warp.
How to Apply Cutting Board Oil and Board Butter
We recommended you oil your cutting board every month, or when dry to the touch. Board butter/wax should be applied at the same time as oiling.
With your cutting board clean and dry, apply the oil directly onto the surface of the board. Be generous with the application, especially if the wood is dry. Most importantly, let the oil soak into the cutting board for as long as possible; at least a few hours or overnight if possible. Let your cutting board sit on a wire rack or upright to dry when done. If you are restoring or seasoning an old, dry or new cutting board, you may wish to repeat this process two more times, to ensure your cutting board is completely seasoned.
To apply wax, wait until the board is dry after washing or oiling, then apply a small amount of wax onto the board. Using a soft cloth, buff the wax into the wood in a circular pattern, forming a thin coat. Repeat over the entire surface of the board and especially the sides. It's not necessary to let the wax soak into the board.
Why Use Cutting Board Oils and Board Butters?
The goal of board oil is to penetrate the wood and saturate the wood fibers, in order to stop any other liquids (blood, bacteria) and moisture from soaking into the board. As well, a well-oiled cutting board will keep the same shape. While board oil penetrates the wood, board butter/wax acts as a physical barrier on the surface of the wood that protects against stains and liquids. The wax also aids in sanitation, as it fills and seals in knife scars and microscopic cracks where bacteria would otherwise gather.
Used in conjunction, cutting board oil and wax provide an effective combination of protective outer layer and sealed wood that is sanitary, easier to clean and won’t warp.
We recommend only the use of food grade substances for use on our cutting board, as it will be in contact with food. The products that we use and recommend are:
Food grade mineral oil. (Can be found in the health section of most stores)
Beeswax based wax or conditioner. (Our board butter is available online at our website. You can also use Howard Products Butcher Block Conditioner from Amazon)
Please note that we do not recommend natural oils such as vegetable, corn, olive, peanut or walnut oil, as these are rich in fats that will eventually oxidize and go rancid, creating a foul smelling board. Also, never use standard mineral oil from a hardware store that is not rated as food safe, as that is meant for machine lubrication and not for contact with food. It is not worth jeopardizing your health for a few dollars!
Maintaining your cutting board is very simple if you know how, so we hope this guide will ensure you have a sanitary and happy cutting board for many years to come.